Women Elevating Excellence & Redefining Leadership


We are thrilled to be partnering with WIRED & CBIZ Women’s Advantage to bring together and celebrate women who are redefining leadership in their organizations and communities.

Join us on Thursday, February 29th, for an uplifting and energizing event, serving as the perfect way to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day!


  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm – Networking
  • 4:00 – 5:00 pm – Amazing Panel Discussion
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm – Wrap up + Additional Networking

Tickets include event access, networking, appetizers, and two drink tickets. Half of all ticket sales will be donated to a selected charity, contributing to a cause that aligns with our shared values and mission.

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Some leaders are born. Most leaders are made through a combination of experience, learning, and intentional development.  Join us for an illuminating panel discussion as we delve into the dynamic journey of women’s leadership and the profound impact it has had on society. From pioneering trailblazers to modern-day visionaries, discover how women have redefined leadership roles and shattered glass ceilings across industries.


Experience insights from a diverse lineup of esteemed leaders, including:

  • { Moderator } Chanda Smith Baker – Founder & CEO, Smith Baker
  • Alene Sussman – Executive Director, Minnesota Jewish Community Foundation
  • Heidi Olson, MBA – President, OptumRX Personal Care, Optum
  • Kathie Eiland-Madison – Chief Engagement & Inclusion Officer, Delta Dental of Minnesota
  • Alicia Eimers – Sr Sales Director, Slalom

This panel discussion offers a unique opportunity to gain invaluable insights from trailblazing women who have paved the way for progress and transformation. Whether you’re a seasoned leader, aspiring entrepreneur, or passionate advocate for gender equality, this event promises to inspire, educate, and empower.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this important conversation on the evolution of women’s leadership. Reserve your seat now and join us for an afternoon of enlightenment, empowerment, and celebration!

  • What: Women Who Are Redefining Leadership 
  • When: Thursday, February 29th | 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • Where: North House – 718 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

We will have NA options available thanks to Zero Proof Collective!


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Chanda Smith Baker- has spent her 25-plus-year career at the intersection of philanthropy, business, government and community. An experienced CEO nationally renowned for her power and poise in leadership, Chanda has proven success leading complex organizations, recognizing and nurturing talent, and engaging and activating audiences toward racial equity and a broadened social impact. Smith Baker brings both her executive leadership experience in philanthropy and the credibility of a life and career spent advancing equity to Conversations with Chanda. Her interview style, rooted in her natural curiosity, love of reading and a deep knowledge of community issues, has struck a chord both locally and nationally. Chanda is the Founder and CEO of Smith Baker, LLC, Co-Founder in Residence with The Black Collective Foundation, serves on the Board of Directors of several highimpact organizations and a Co-Curator of Portraits of Us: A Book of Essays Centering Black Women Leading Philanthropy.

Heidi Olson – As the President of Optum Rx Personal Care Benefits, Heidi Olson brings with her a rich history spanning over 20 years of leadership in marketing, sales, operations, and consumer experience across multiple industries – health care, pharmacy, restaurant hospitality, consumer packaged goods, and financial services. With a robust background in business strategy and a keen eye for innovation, she has consistently risen to leadership positions, centered around marketing, business portfolio management, technology innovation, and people leadership.

Throughout her extensive career journey, Heidi has continually demonstrated the ability to drive transformative change. Moreover, Heidi is recognized for her adeptness in people leadership, fostering cohesive and inclusive teams that are essential for success in the complex business landscape. Servant leadership is the core of Heidi’s approach to leadership and the catalyst behind delivering results that matter – to people, to business.

Beyond corporate leadership, Heidi leads a fulfilling personal life in Prior Lake with her husband Brian. When not immersed in the world of health care, the couple enjoys quality time with their dog Ranger, relishing the great outdoors. During this time of year, you’ll often find them engaged in the quintessential winter pastimes of ice fishing, snowmobiling, and ice hockey.

Delving into the dynamic journey of women’s leadership and the profound impact it has had on society, Heidi brings a unique perspective shaped by two decades of professional excellence. Recognized for charting a strategic vision, fostering innovation, and delivering tangible results, she continues to be a driving force in shaping the future of business and leadership.


Alene G. Sussman is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Jewish Community Foundation (MN JCF) and Senior Director of Minneapolis Jewish Federation Charitable Gift Planning. MN JCF helps its fund holders
give through a Jewish lens and promotes the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world). In 2023, MN JCF helped its fund holders send $9.5 million out to causes and organizations (both Jewish and non-Jewish) all around the world. Alene is a former in-house attorney at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and prior to that practiced at the law firm of Dorsey and Whitney LLP. She graduated from Howard University School of Law and received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Columbia University. She volunteers for a variety of non-profits around the Twin Cities in the areas of development and fundraising, and grant making, including on the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Co-Chairs the Arboretum Annual Gala Committee, and Temple Israel (variety of committees). She loves spending time with her son and husband, foodstagramming, traveling and is acautiously optimistic/perennially disappointed Minnesota Vikings fan.


Kathie Eiland-Madison is currently the Chief Engagement and Inclusion Officer at Delta Dental of Minnesota and previously was VP of Human Resources, Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Before her role at Delta Dental, she held Human Resource leadership positions in several Fortune 500 private and public organizations. Kathie has served on various boards and committees in her career and is currently on the University of Minnesota Foundation Board, HR & Compensation Committee at Allina Health Systems, Minnesota Business Coalition of Racial Equity (MBCRE), and the Minnesota State High School League’s Diversity, Equity, Belonging Committee. She is a transformational leader with over 25 years of experience in the human resources arena, where she has demonstrated the ability to lead, develop and navigate teams through dynamic business climates. Her background in several business sectors gives her a unique perspective on HR and Diversity practices in various public and private sectors. Kathie is passionate about mentoring young adults and giving back to the community.  She grew up in north Minneapolis and is proud to follow in her father’s footsteps, as he was the first Black Vice President of HR at the Pillsbury Company. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management.

Alicia Eimers– As the Managing Director in charge of Sales, Marketing, and Alliances for the Minneapolis market, Alicia Eimers is responsible for developing and leading the go-to-market strategy for consulting services spanning technology & business advisory, customer experience and technologies.  Prior to relocating to Minnesota in 2013 to help start the Slalom Minneapolis office, Alicia was part of the Seattle, WA market and has also held sales leader positions at global organizations before that. Alicia holds an MBA from the University of Washington (UW) and Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing from University of Idaho and currently resides on the board for the undergraduate and graduate mentorship programs for UW.  She currently resides in Southwest Minneapolis and when not meeting with clients, you can find her at the hockey rink, lacrosse field or gymnastic meets for her two daughters (and hockey coach husband).


Event Details

Date: February 29, 2024

Start time: 03:00 p.m. CST

End time: 06:00 p.m. CST

Venue: 718 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401